Muscadine grapes are known for their health benefits and other nutritive values – even for potential preventive measures against cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The fruits are rich in antioxidants such as a ellagic acid and resveratrol. Although scientists have done much research extracting and identifying these health benefits, the studies have looked at few commercial varieties.
UF/IFAS scientists, led by former post-doctoral researcher Changmou Xu, put the muscadine varieties through various tests over two growing seasons to see which ones passed muster for health, taste and smell genes.
The varieties examined in the UF/IFAS study are the most common muscadines grown in U.S., according to the research team. Scientists found 10 varieties merit further testing as table grapes and ranked based on their size, sweetness, nutrients, and antioxidants.
Below is the countdown of the Top 10 muscadine grape varieties with high potential consumer preferences.
8. Africa Queen
6. Sweet Jenny
5. Dixie Land
2. Later Fry
“With more and more consumers favoring healthy fruits, and research continually revealing the benefits of muscadine grapes, these grapes should have excellent market potential, not only in the U.S., but throughout the world,” said Maurice Marshall, UF/IFAS Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and a co-author on the study.
In addition to consumers, Marshall noted grape breeders could use this information to select which varieties offer the best fruit quality and most nutrients, while integrating these factors into other growing performance characteristics such as yield and disease resistance.
The study — in its entirety — is published in the journal Food Chemistry.